The Value of Pie

Our favourite seasonal pies—savoury and sweet—just in time for holiday feasts

Bakerbots’ pecan pie

This Bloorcourt Village bakery might be best known for its ice-cream sandwiches on colossal house-made cookies, but they make some damn fine pies, too—the pecan pie, in particular. It’s like a behemoth butter tart, artfully covered in concentric circles of the luscious southern nut. $28. 205 Delaware Ave., 416-901-3500,

Ma Maison’s chicken pie

Head to this patisserie, a petite piece of Paris on the Kingsway, for the chicken pie, a buttery, flaky shell chock full of tender white meat and veggies in a creamy chicken stock–based béchamel. Turkeys shouldn’t get all the attention this time of year. $32.25. 4243 Dundas St. W., 416-236-2234,

Cumbrae’s bolognese pie

The butchers extraordinaire at Cumbrae’s beautiful Bayview Avenue store have packed their classic porky-beefy bolognese sauce into a pot pie, with some parmigiana for good measure. Don’t let the small size fool you—this Italian tart could easily satiate two hungry pie enthusiasts. $11.49. 1589 Bayview Ave., 416-485-5620; 714 Queen St. W., 416-681-1111,

The Rolling Pin’s apple pie

This popular Bedford Park bakery makes classic, just-like-grandma-made-’em apple pies; the golden-brown shells are stuffed with a mix of cinnamon-laced Macintosh, Granny Smith and Red Delicious slices, and beautifully latticed overtop. $25. 1970 Avenue Rd., 416-691-4554,

The Tempered Room’s savoury pumpkin pie

Come autumn, almost everything that’s edible or potable is infiltrated with pumpkin, and now that includes savoury pies. This one, from Parkdale’s premiere patisserie, stuffs perfect puff pastry with pumpkin, tender short ribs from Ontario Harvest and maitake mushrooms. $68. 1374 Queen St. W., 416-546-4374,

Butchers of Distinction’s pork-apple pie

The pies at this Riverside butcher shop are as varied as the cuts in the display case. If there’s a surplus of beef cheek or ham or chicken, it’ll end up lovingly wrapped in pastry in no time. The small-batch pork, apple and cheddar pie is a novel, savoury-sweet solution to having a bumper crop of locally sourced braised pork. $22.95. 738 Queen St. E., 416-466-9191,

Kanga’s traditional Aussie pie

Kanga’s personal-size pies come in many flavours, but our pick is the traditional Aussie one loaded with ground beef and savoury gravy (and stamped with an adorable pastry ’roo paw print). Dipping each bite in ketchup is highly encouraged. $6.85. 65 Duncan St., 416-324-9174; plus two other Toronto locations,

Sanagan’s Meat Locker’s tourtière

The popular Kensington butcher that recently opened an east end store at Gerrard and Coxwell, makes its tourtière—a traditional Christmas Eve indulgence—year-round. It all starts with an absurdly rich butter-and-lard pastry crust. Inside, the savoury pork-and-bacon filling is flavoured with just the right amount of onions and ground aromatics, including cloves, nutmeg and allspice. $15-$28. 176 Baldwin St., 1513 Gerrard St. E., 416-593-9747,

Bobbette and Belle’s lemon meringue pie

The jukebox-diner staple gets a high-end makeover from one of the city’s fanciest pastry boutiques. A supremely creamy lemon curd rests between a thin yet sturdy shortbread crust and an elegantly styled canopy of smooth, lightly toasted meringue. It’s almost (almost) too pretty to slice. $32. 1121 Queen St. E.; 3347 Yonge St., 416-466-8800,

Brick Street Bakery’s mincemeat tart

This bakery, which began in the Distillery District, has an affinity for traditional British savouries. That means plenty of sausage rolls, steak pies and, during the holiday season, these mini rounds of mincemeat. They’re made the old-school way, with suet, and loaded with currants and raisins, then topped off with a wee star-shaped pastry cutout for extra yum. $2.75. 27 Trinity St., 416-214-4949; plus five other Toronto locations,

The Pie Commission’s hot chocolate pie

A mug of hot chocolate is one of the few things that takes the ouch out of winter. But even better than a steaming cup of Carnation is this sweet five-inch pie from the Pie Commission, which layers thick chocolate custard and gently browned marshmallows into an all-butter crust.$6.95. 887 Dundas St. W., 647-351-7437; 935 The Queensway, 416-848-7424,

Mabel’s Bakery’s pumpkin pie

Mabel’s makes the most perfect pumpkin pie—you could say they’re the lords of the gourds. The secrets to their oh-so-fluffy filling? Canned pumpkin purée, a whack of good whipping cream and a generous glug of Canadian maple syrup, for a sweet, slightly smoky touch. $18. 2755 Dundas St. W., 416-519-4375; plus three other Toronto locations,

This story originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Toronto Life magazine. To subscribe, for just $24 a year, click here.